Dirt

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering' started by Wazza, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. Wazza

    Wazza New Member

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    I have five nine week old Isa browns. Very active and curious and enjoy new foods. They are currently in a shed as their coop is not built yet. However, whenever they come across dirt, particularly dry sand (plenty of that in Perth) they will eat it. Are they lacking something in their diet? I believe they need some small stones/gravel if they are eating larger grains but most of their diet is small grower pellets and green vegetables. Do I need to worry or do they know what is good for them?
     
  2. rob

    rob New Member

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    they have no teeth to chew food so need to swallow small stones and grit to help breakdown the food. you can buy grit or oyster grit to help with this.
     

  3. cogburn

    cogburn New Member

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    Also sand has minerals, and things they "need" as well as the grit factor, they are aware of what they need and seek it out when possible. Just like when I do yard work and sit down to take a break the older hens will peck my legs, to get salt from sweat, also charcoal is a common need for chickens, I use real hardwood lump charcoal and hang some or attach it to the side of the run or coop, they will take it when they need it.
     
  4. Wazza

    Wazza New Member

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    Should they have it available or do they store it? Is it added to commercial feeds?
     
  5. cogburn

    cogburn New Member

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    You can get the "treat balls or squares" and hang them when they need it they will peck at it, charcoal that is.. Like I said I use all natural hardwood lump, Royal Oak Lump. But whatever is available where you are is fine try not to use the compressed briquettes like kingsford, they add things during processing, you can also make your own by burning a hardwood limb or piece of firewood DO NOT add accelerant like gas or lighter fluid, just let it burn a while and then put it out with water, when it's dry and no longer hot hang it at the feeder or in the coop, at eye level and they will peck it when they need it.
     
  6. Wazza

    Wazza New Member

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    Well thanks for that. I will trust that these slightly crazy chooks know what is good for them!
     
  7. cogburn

    cogburn New Member

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    Unless you are on a former nuclear bombing test range, I would'nt worry about them eating dirt. Lol
     
  8. Lady_Alia

    Lady_Alia New Member

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    What's in the charcoal that they need? I've never heard of that before....very interesting.
     
  9. cogburn

    cogburn New Member

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    It aids in digestion, it absorbs toxins and helps to more rapidly flush them from the body, also it absorbs worms and worm ova at different stages of development and it absorbs up to 200 times it's weight.. Like I said they will peck it when they need it, so it's best to keep some available just in case, if you've ever seen chickens attack a fire pit, or ash pile where a fire has burned recently you'll see what I mean, they really do love it. I add some ashes and small bits of charcoal to the sand where they take their dust baths too. They will pick it out there also.
     
  10. Lady_Alia

    Lady_Alia New Member

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    Ohh wow! Guess I'll be getting some coal for my girls. Thanks for the info!!
     
  11. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

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    I found this site:

    http://www.buyactivatedcharcoal.com/animal_feed

    Says also: " [FONT=times new roman,times]Alternatively, it may be added to the drinking water, as shown in Table 2. Used in this way, it will reduce the bad smell of manure by 50%."

    It looks as though their charcoal is made from bamboo. Interesting.
    [/FONT]
     
  12. Lady_Alia

    Lady_Alia New Member

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    Very interesting! That's super cool. I'll have to make some, hubby will enjoy that project ;-)